With input and under supervision of the Senior Attorney, the Lead Attorney will effectively represent clients in all phases of consumer protection litigation, as well as assist in training and supervising the substantive legal and advocacy work of staff attorneys, non-attorney staff, interns, and volunteers. The Lead Attorney is primarily responsible for daily or semi-regular case review of closed cases, being responsive to case review questions from advocates and staff attorneys, and assisting the Senior Attorney ensure the overall quality and competency of the substantive legal work. The Lead Attorney will also assist to identify and meet staff training needs in coordination with other management staff, as well as working on grant applications and reporting.
About the Organization
Legal Aid Society of San Diego (LASSD), the largest poverty law firm serving San Diego County since 1953, strengthens our communities by redressing our clients’ legal problems, empowering our clients to access and effectively participate within the legal, governmental, and social systems and encouraging self-empowerment in the fight against poverty and injustice. LASSD continues to be a proud, committed, and compassionate group of people dedicated to providing equal access to justice for San Diegans through aggressive, quality legal services. #justicebeginshere
Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
• Interviews prospective clients, renders legal advice, maintains an increasingly complex caseload, and represents clients in all phases of litigation.
• Trains and assists less experienced attorneys to become effective in representation of their clients through trial preparation, drafting of pleadings, discovery, research, and case strategy.
• Provides training and supervision to volunteers, interns, contract attorneys and support staff.
• Helps the Senior Attorney evaluate the work of and create professional development plans for staff underneath their direct supervision.
• Maintains data, records, case files in compliance with funding and programmatic requirements and preparing periodic activity reports for funders.
• Develops and implements mid and long-term strategies for resolution of identified systemic barriers to our clients’ economic and social security.
• Develops positive working relationship with the court and other partner organizations.
• Conducts education and outreach presentation to various community groups, service provider, partner organizations, and governmental/regulatory agencies when appropriate.
• Under the supervision of the Senior Attorney, timely and accurately assists with team administration: monitoring, maintenance of team calendar, and review of cases in case management system to see that all cases meet funding requirements, grant reporting.
• Under the direction of the Senior Attorney, assists in the implementation of management policies.
• Timely and accurately performs all required personal administrative duties for the benefit of the program and as an example for their staff. E.g., is punctual, sets a good attendance example for staff, daily entry of time and case notes into the Case Management System, and timely completes administrative and required regulatory and contractual tasks.
• Compliance with all program and grant requirements.
• Other duties as may be assigned.
• Must be a member of the California Bar.
• Must have three (3) years’ experience as a practicing attorney, two (2) of which must be in civil poverty law.
• Must have demonstrated capabilities in using basic tools of a litigating attorney: drafting answers, propounding and responding to discovery, depositions, negotiations, law and motion trial experience, and post-trial remedies including post-trial motions, writs and appeals.
• Must have demonstrated capacity to train and mentor lesser experienced attorneys.
• Demonstrated experience in working with and representing our client communities.
• Demonstrated skills in managing others in a regulated climate and ensuring personal and team compliance with such regulations.
• Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work with other teams, the public, volunteers, court
personnel, government agencies, and partner organizations.
• High level of attention to detail required.
• Skill in working independently and following through on assignments with accuracy and minimal direction.
• Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends as required by events and deadlines.
• Must have reliable transportation.
Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
• Fluency in written and spoken Spanish preferred.
• Excellent Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint skills.
• Demonstrated commitment to serving low-income people.
• Ability to work successfully with people from diverse backgrounds.
Salary and Benefits:
The Consumer Protection Lead Attorney position is a salaried position with an annual salary range of $78,000 - $99,000 per year. LASSD offers a generous benefits package, a 35-hour workweek, paid vacation leave and sick leave and 100% employer-paid medical premium, 50% employer-paid premium for dependents under LASSD health plan, as well as, dental, vision and life benefits. Staff also have the option to participate in a 403(b)-retirement plan and dependent and health flex savings accounts (FSA). LASSD has its own loan repayment program and is an eligible nonprofit employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. In addition, there is a bilingual pay increase of 2% for passing an oral test and 2% for passing a written test for threshold languages other than English.
LASSD is an equal opportunity employer, we hire without regard to race, color, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices), national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), genetic information, marital status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (40 years and over), sexual orientation, veteran and/or military status, domestic violence victim status, political affiliation, and any other status protected by state or federal law.
Hybrid Work Environment:
Legal Aid Society of San Diego (“LASSD”) has adopted a hybrid work environment in which most staff are required to work in the office part of the week and permitted to work remotely for the remainder of the week, provided their job duties allow. All employees are issued LASSD computers and provided appropriate supplies to perform their work. LASSD has implemented and continues to explore additional technologies to make our hybrid working environment as efficient and connected as possible. All employees must be available to travel to LASSD offices and service locations throughout San Diego County as needed and in compliance with public health advisories. Applicants must reside in or near San Diego County or plan to relocate in or near the County prior to their start date and must be able to commute to the physical Legal Aid Society of San Diego office locations or service delivery locations within San Diego County. LASSD’s normal business hours are 9am-5pm, but we are open to providing flexible work schedules to the extent feasible for the position. LASSD reserves the right to change these policies at any time.
Mandatory Vaccination Policy:
LASSD has implemented a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. We will consider individual requests for exemption from the policy for: (1) medical reasons, and/or (2) based on an applicant or employees sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. Any applicant or employee requesting an exemption should submit a completed exemption request form to Human Resources. Upon receipt of a completed exemption request form and any supporting documentation, LASSD will engage in an interactive discussion with the applicant or employee to determine whether an exemption is appropriate and can be granted without posing an undue hardship to LASSD or a direct threat to the health or safety of the individual making the request or others at LASSD. Any individual granted an exemption from the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement may be subject to conditions and restrictions (such as being required to use additional personal protective equipment or submit to LASSD-provided COVID-19 testing) to mitigate the risk to the individual and others at LASSD. LASSD will require employees to be up to date on their vaccinations which will include at least one booster.
Diversity and Inclusion:
It is vitally important to LASSD that we represent the community that we serve. LASSD is a signatory to the San Diego County Bar Association’s Diversity Pledge. We pledge to promote diversity and inclusion through hiring and retention, promotion and leadership, engagement of outside counsel, and participation in legal community diversity initiatives. We strongly encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds to apply.